As I have explored the world of mobility and muscle recovery, I have been very interested in the idea of focused massage therapy for the same reasons. Not really a massage therapy guy. I have only been gifted a massage for Christmas or a birthday. In my mind, it’s always been a pampering type of event. I didn’t realize how the benefits of massage-focused therapy could significantly improve mobility and overall quality of life.
I was introduced to Lakeland Medical Massage through a fellow Lakeland Athletic Club member who told me he was having upper back issues and went for a consultation. When he described it to me, it didn’t sound anything like a typical “massage.” So I decided to check it out myself and set an appointment for the following week.
I had a whole week of workouts, and my entire body was sore, so muscle/pain relief was a priority.
When I walked in, there wasn’t a dark room, a couch, champagne waiting for me, not even any relaxing music playing or anything like that. The first thing they did was a 30-minute consultation. They assessed me head to toe. Before we even got started, I lay on the table, and the therapist stretched and palpitated my neck, shoulders, spine, hips, knees, and ankles. We talked about my sports history, injuries, and daily habits of sitting at a desk and not standing or stretching often enough. The therapist immediately noticed my right shoulder was not nearly as mobile as my left. #You have some scar tissue in there,” she said. “But we can work through it so you can get your mobility back.” What?! That’s a thing?
Can I work through any mobility issues by moving it and getting blood flow to that area?
She explained the process and success with most clients (depending on their problems). Still, yes, most can get more mobility in those stressed areas with the therapist over a few sessions and continue working at it independently. Once she did the assessment, she left the room and came back to begin treatment on not only my shoulder but other areas she felt could use some blood flow. After our session, I felt loose, relaxed, and definitely more mobile—a far different experience than general pampering.
After that, I continued to research types of medical massage therapy, and I found out that they use different techniques:
Releases muscle tension to help them relax. It works by putting tension on the muscle to stretch it out. Then they ask you to “push” or “pull” to activate the use of the muscle while you’re stretching it. It allows your muscle fibers to be pulled from both ends, and when you relax, it will enable you to stretch deeper.
Trigger Point therapy
They use this method to release the tension in the hips and lower back, where they put tension on the points where the muscle meets the bone. It’s similar to using a foam roller or ball to put pressure on those points, but the therapist can feel where you need it most to release the tension.
Do you know how if you probe around enough in a large muscle, you can find a lump or two? Those lumps get pressed out (which can be painful), but once they are, life is good.
These methods plus more are used to make you feel like you could do a backbend (don’t do that), but you get what I’m saying. Movement and mobility are the things that keep us young. So keep stretching, keep moving, and don’t forget to include focused massage therapy as a part of your mobility training. Remember – the goal is to continually invest in yourself to be a better you!